Good Rule #1 – Do Not Compare Who You Are to Others

Some times, when I think about it too hard, I feel weird about writing a weight loss blog and even thinking about offering any sort of advice.

After all, I lost my way down to 250ish and then gained my way back up to 380ish over four years. What advice could I, a failed loser, possibly have to give?

And then… I realized… Why not?

Seriously, why not?

The truth of the matter is, I have come a LONG way over the course of my life. By no means do I feel I have reached the top of my mountain, by I’m not a little rank beginner. I know stuff. I’ve learned stuff. I’ve intuited stuff, I’ve gained stuff, I’ve given stuff away, I’ve built stuff, and I’ve let people have stuff.

I know stuff.

Heck, I even know stuff just by virtue of having failed at it. I know that the trick to weight loss is sticking to it, day in, day out. I know this because, in 2006 after a bad breakup with a girl whose face I can’t even really remember anymore, I started gaining weight back and didn’t stop for a long time.

This is a lesson I have learned. I can share that wisdom with others.

If you read other weight loss blogs, you see the gamut. You’ll see people like me who have been struggling. You’ll see people who are at goal weight and maintaining and sharing their wisdom. You’ll find people at goal weight who hardly post anymore at all. You’ll find people who are so arrogant that you read them for a bit and then delete their posts from Google Reader. You’ll find people who have accomplished a lifetime’s worth of awesome and are still so humble, it’s almost shaming to read their posts.

You’ll read people who swear that paleo is the only diet to be on. Others swear by everything in moderation. Some say that eating animal products is the surest way to develop cancer. Others swear by all organic, all the time.

I fit somewhere in that gamut. For what it’s worth, I believe in moderation and I have definitely had my fair share of weight struggles.

I also realized today, as Tina and I were combining our offices to empty out her old office (i.e. – guest bedroom) to make a nursery, that I am the luckiest man on the planet. My life is awesome. I have no reason to complain about anything.

This didn’t arise out of a need to make myself feel better. Today was already a good day, but here are the things that made me realize how amazingly blessed my life is.

1. We have so many things, we had to fill our jeep up to the roof to take them to Goodwill.
2. We have two reliable vehicles sitting in our driveway.
3. We own our home. Granted, it comes with a mortgage, but I would happily write a significantly smaller check each month to the mortgage than rent. (Seriously, I save about $300 a month by owning outright, and I’m building equity. Win!)
4. I have a wonderful job with great colleagues. Given that my last two jobs were absolute hellholes and I hated going to work, this is an amazing, amazing thing. If you hate your job, I truly hope you someday know the joy of going to bed on Sunday evening and not dreading Monday morning. This job is the first job I have ever had that was like that.
5. In seven days, we’ll be debt free (other than mortgage and student loans.)
6. We did a little travel hacking (thanks to some tips from Steve at Nerd Fitness), and Tina and I are going to take a free (except for meals) 7-day vacation to San Diego in a few months for our Babymoon.
7. We’re having a baby in six months, and so far, all blood work, genetic tests, and scans have come back clean. Moon Pie is healthy. I pray every day that s/he will stay that way.
8. I may be obese, but I still have my health.

Okay, so what entirely brought this on? As we were decluttering, I found some bloodwork from a very intensive blood test I had done a while back. When I first got it, I just shoved it in my desk and didn’t really worry about it. But today, after finding it, I realized that I am not just responsible for me anymore. I’ve got a baby coming, and this little boy or girl needs me to be around for a long time.

My cholesterol is perfect.

My blood pressure was 121/84. This is pretty dang good.

My resting heart rate was 64.

My doctor told me that I have the cardio endurance of someone much thinner – that I, a morbidly obese man, have no right to have the cardio endurance that I have.

And yet… when I workout, my calorie monitor never gets as high as other people’s. I’ve never seen quadruple digits after an hour’s work. I did 55 minutes the other day and got 347.

I must stop comparing myself to others.

I am not a failure because I did not work out as hard. There might be a million different reasons why others post higher calorie counts than me.

I am not a failure.

I am a success.

So my lesson to myself, and heck, to anyone else who needs it? Don’t compare yourself to others. You are awesome, just being you. It’s who you are supposed to be, anyway.

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  • http://hblewett.com/blog Hanlie

    That is so true. We are each on our own path. Sure, we can help one another with advice, etc, but ultimately I think the beauty of blogging is that we’re there for one another.

    I’ll let you in on a little secret. There is no way a heart rate monitor can calculate how many calories you’re burning. That’s a metabolic process and depends on a whole host of factors, including how much sleep you’ve had, your hydration levels, your mineral levels, the ambient temperature, your core temperature, the humidity, the altitude, what you ate in the last 24-48 hours, how much sun exposure you’ve had, how well you’re handling the stresses of daily life, your testosterone/estrogen/progesterone levels, your oxygen saturation, and even, to an extent, your state of mind. These devices “measure” nothing, they make a prediction based on a hypothetical, generic body – not your body.
    Hanlie recently posted..Perspective

    • http://www.stellarpath.net Jeremy Logsdon

      This is an excellent point and one to keep in mind. I know this very logically, but there are times when it still strikes me as irritating that I work out hard, and others post calorie burns in some cases four times mine. But oh well. I am who I am, and I am working hard by my scale, no one else’s. :)

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